March 30, 2018
Box Score (Game One)
Box Score (Game Two)
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Each school picked up a win in a showdown of Conference USA division leaders, North Texas and Florida Atlantic, on Friday evening at FAU Softball Stadium.
North Texas (17-15, 7-3 C-USA) outlasted FAU (19-17, 7-3 C-USA) in extra innings with a 1-0 victory over the Owls. Camille Grahmann reached on a pinch-hit single and scored the gamewinning run in the top of the eighth.
"It was a good feeling," Grahmann said. "I wouldn't have gotten there without my teammates executing their plays. It was good to beat the top team in the conference."
Grahmann led off the inning with a first-pitch bloop single that fell between four defenders and made her way to third on Katie Clark's base-knock down the third-base line and Lindsay Gregory's sac bunt. Nicole Ochotnicki's sac fly went just deep enough to allow Grahmann to score the game-winning run.
"I knew they were going to come at me so I went up aggressive," Grahmann said. "I had been seeing the ball well the past few games. I knew the first pitch was going to be my best pitch to hit."
"That was textbook manufacturing," North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said. "Camille had a good week in that mid-week game. For her, it's a matter of riding that confidence. That was probably the biggest hit of the game and she couldn't have put it in a better spot."
Hope Trautwein (9-6) tossed her seventh complete game, striking out nine over a career-high eight innings and allowing just three hits. Trautwein is now 4-1 with a 0.66 ERA and 26 strikeouts over 32 innings in her last seven appearances.
"I had a rough time finding the zone at first but I made sure to get better every inning and go at the batters hard," Trautwein said.
"We worked on some things mechanically in the bullpen yesterday," Kee said. "The kid was dealing. She had confidence and was executing the plan we had as a team. She kept us in the ballgame."
Trautwein struck out and stranded six in her first four innings and her no-hit bid was broken up in the bottom of the fifth on an infield single by Madisyn Palmer. Trautwein gave up just two hits the rest of the way.
"I needed to give my offense time to score runs," Trautwein said. "I was just trying to throw up zeroes and be as aggressive as possible to keep them off the bases."
"Hope has been maturing every week," Kee said. "When you see a freshman pitcher competing against as great a team as FAU and their hitters and speed, I thought she did a great job of implementing the pitches that she wanted to."
The FAU (20-17, 8-3 C-USA) offense proved to be too much for the Mean Green (17-16, 7-4 C-USA) pitching staff in a 12-4 win in five innings in game two. North Texas gave up a season-high 15 hits to the Owls.
"When they dropped the first game, we had to expect a big punch in the face," Kee said. "Great teams are going to do that. They're going to drop one and turn around and immediately respond."
North Texas got on the board first as Clark came all the way around from first on a Lacy Gregory base-hit to center, and Gregory followed up with a RBI single in the third to drive in twin sister Lindsay for her 27th RBI of the season.
"Our at-bats got better throughout the day," Kee said. "We came out and the bat speed was a little slow. We started getting our timing down.
FAU flipped the game on its head in the bottom of the first with eight runs on seven hits, including a pair of home runs and run-scoring singles. Ally Lindsey took over for Maria Priest (8-10) and got the final out on a strikeout and kept the Owl bats relatively quiet over the next three innings, save for a pair of RBI singles.
Facing a potential early finish down eight runs, the Mean Green put up two in the top of the fifth on a two-run single up the middle from Rhylie Makawe. Lindsey gave up a pair of RBI singles in the home-half of the inning to allow FAU to run-rule North Texas.
"We hit well in spurts in the second game, but it's too much to ask your offense to put up nine runs," Kee said.
North Texas takes on the Owls in the rubber-match at noon ET Saturday at FAU Softball Stadium.
• North Texas has won the first game of all four C-USA series this season.
• The Mean Green improved to 2-2 in extra-inning games in 2018.
• Saturday marked just the fourth time North Texas was held without a home run in back-to-back games.
• With 15 hits allowed in the loss, the Mean Green fell to 0-8 when opponents rack up at least 11 hits.